COVID-19 Extension of the Probationary Period for Faculty Who Joined BU Between July and December 2020

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Last spring, as you may recall, I announced that Boston University would be extending the tenure review period for probationary faculty due to the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. For many faculty members, the pandemic has had a profound impact on research, teaching, scholarship, and creative work, and BU sought a way to accommodate this by offering a one-year extension for those currently on the tenure clock.

This week, the University Council, following consultation with the Faculty Council and Council of Deans, approved an addendum to this rule, affording the same extension to probationary faculty who began their service at BU between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. (Faculty who began their service after January 1, 2021, are not impacted by this change because their probationary period does not start until fall 2021.) The full text of the change can be found in the Faculty Handbook, as well as on the University Council website (Kerberos required).

As with last year’s amendment to the Faculty Handbook, this latest change does the following for those who joined BU between July and December of last year:

  • Provides for an automatic one-year extension to the tenure review period for all BU faculty currently in the probationary period. Any current probationary faculty who do not wish to utilize the extension can opt out and proceed with their current schedule; and
  • Ensures that the one-year extension due to COVID-19 does not count toward the maximum allowance of two years of extensions provided for in the Faculty Handbook.

We hope that this accommodation helps to provide some necessary relief. I would like to extend special thanks to the University Council Committee on Faculty Policies for its thoughtful work and to again thank our faculty for your outstanding efforts to continue providing a world-class education to our students in this most extraordinary of years.

COVID-19 Extension of the Probationary Period for Faculty Who Joined BU Between July and December 2020 – 5.14.21